The First Response of the Morning

On my way downstairs to start my day, I checked my teen daughter’s room. She’d made her bed. Not perfectly, but better than it has been.

I complimented EH on her improved bed-making skills. Surprise! Her attitude changed.

Then, Paul came down wearing shorts for his workout. I told him he had nice legs. My youngest daughter, KH, gave me a weird look. I guess I don’t compliment my husband enough in front of them.

But, then she turned to EH and said, “Your hair looks good that way.”

A few minutes later, when KH reacted to something funny; her brother laughed. She said, “Don’t laugh at me.”

He said, “I’m not laughing at you, just the circumstances.”

I looked at him and said, “Good response.”

Too often, in those first words of the day and the last words they take out the door, I correct or remind.  But the last few weeks,  I expressed my confidence in how well they’ve been doing. The result—my first response led to a chain reaction of good responses.


  1. David
    Oct 19, 2009

    This reminds me of the movie and concept of pay it forward…

  2. Raya
    Oct 19, 2009

    Awesome 🙂 We are trying to be more validating too.

  3. Jenny
    Oct 19, 2009

    That is a great attribute we all should strive to be really good at, it is not always easy to do as a mother, however, nothing better for them to start their day off with good feelings. It is sometimes hard to ignore the negative and focus solely on the positive, I think it not only makes them start off better but it makes your day better as well. So good for you!

  4. Rebecca
    Oct 21, 2009

    As a piano teacher, I’m so good at this! Seeing each kid for only a half hour or forty five minutes each week doesn’t leave much time for negative. I have to build up and boost, so I do that with positive talk. And they thrive!

    You would think that since I see this success week after week, I would take those positive experiences from teaching into the rest of my life. But it’s like I become a different person when day-to-day living comes into play. As a wife, I really need to change in this area!

    Thanks so much for writing this. I had this post up on my screen to read a few hours ago, but didn’t get to it until just now, and I needed to read this at this very moment. It’s a very positive chastisement for me! =)

  5. L Jensen
    Oct 26, 2009

    You are a Great Mom.

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